Microsoft BizTalk Server
|Initial release||19 December 2000|
|Stable release||2013 / 1 April 2013|
|Operating system||Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012|
|Platform||IA-32 or x64|
|Available in||9 languages|
Microsoft BizTalk Server (or simply "BizTalk") enables companies to automate business processes, through the use of adapters which are tailored to communicate with different software systems used in an enterprise. Created by Microsoft, it provides enterprise application integration, business process automation, business-to-business communication, message broker and business activity monitoring.
BizTalk Server used to be positioned as both an application server and an [clarify]. Microsoft changed this strategy when they released the AppFabric server which became their official application server.
In a common scenario, BizTalk enables companies to integrate and manage automated business processes by exchanging business documents such as purchase orders and invoices between disparate applications, within or across organizational boundaries.
Human-centric processes cannot be implemented directly with BizTalk Server and need additional applications like Microsoft SharePoint server.
Development for BizTalk Server is done through Microsoft Visual Studio. A developer can create transformation maps transforming one message type to another. (For example an XML file can be transformed to SAP IDocs.) Messages inside BizTalk are implemented through the XML documents and defined with the XML schemas in XSD standard. Maps are implemented with the XSLT standard. Orchestrations are implemented with the WS-BPEL compatible process language xLANG. Schemas, maps, pipelines and orchestrations are created visually using graphical tools within Microsoft Visual Studio. The additional functionality can be delivered by .NET assemblies that can be called from existing modules—including, for instance, orchestrations, maps, pipelines, business rules.
- 2000 - BizTalk Server 2000
- 2002 - BizTalk Server 2002
- 2004 - BizTalk Server 2004 (First version to run on Microsoft .NET 1.0)
- 2006 - BizTalk Server 2006 (First version to run on Microsoft .NET 2.0)
- 2007 - BizTalk Server 2006 R2 (First version to utilize the new Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) via native adapter - (Release date 2 October 2007))
- 2009 - BizTalk Server 2009 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2008)
- 2010 - BizTalk Server 2010 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2010 and Microsoft .NET 4.0)
- 2013 - BizTalk 2013 (First version to work with Visual Studio 2012 and Microsoft .NET 4.5)
The following is an incomplete list of the technical features in the BizTalk Server:
- The use of adapters to simplify integration to line of business (LOB) applications (Siebel, SAP, IFS Applications, JD Edwards, Oracle,[clarification needed] Microsoft Dynamics CRM), databases (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database and DB2) and other Technologies (Tibco and Java EE)
- Accelerators offer support for enterprise standards like RosettaNet, HL7, HIPAA and SWIFT.
- Business rules engine (BRE). This is a Rete algorithm rule engine.
- Business activity monitoring (BAM), which allows a dashboard, aggregated (PivotTable) view on how the Business Processes are doing and how messages are processed.
- A unified administration console for deployment, monitoring and operations of solutions on BizTalk servers in environment.
- Built-in electronic data interchange (EDI) functionality supporting X12 and EDIFACT, as of BizTalk 2006 R2.
- Ability to do graphical modelling of business processes in Visual Studio, model documents with XML schemas, graphically mapping (with the assistance of functoids) between different schemas, and building pipelines to decrypt, verify, parse messages as they enter or exit the system via adapters.
- Users can automate business management processes via Orchestrations.
- BizTalk integrates with other Microsoft products like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SQL Server, and SharePoint to allow interaction with a user participating in a workflow process.
- Extensive support for web services (consuming and exposing)
- RFID support, as of BizTalk 2006 R2.
The BizTalk Server runtime is built on a publish/subscribe architecture, sometimes called "content-based publish/subscribe". Messages are published into BizTalk, transformed to the desired format, and then routed to one or more subscribers.
BizTalk makes processing safe by serialization (called dehydration in Biztalk's terminology) - placing messages into a database while waiting for external events, thus preventing data loss. This architecture binds BizTalk with Microsoft SQL Server. Processing flow can be tracked by administrators using an Administration Console. BizTalk supports the transaction flow through the whole line from one customer to another. BizTalk orchestrations also implement long-running transactions.
BizTalk uses adapters for communications with different protocols, message formats, and specific software products. Some of the adapters are: EDI, File, HTTP, SFTP,FTP SMTP, POP3, SOAP, SQL, MSMQ, Microsoft SharePoint Server, IBM mainframe zSeries (CICS and IMS) and midrange iSeries (AS/400) server, IBM DB2, IBM WebSphere MQ adapters. 
The WCF Adapter set was added with 2006 R2. It includes: WCF-WSHttp, WCF-BasicHttp, WCF-NetTcp, WCF-NetMsmq, WCF-NetNamedPipe, WCF-Custom, WCF-CustomIsolated adapters. Microsoft also ships a BizTalk Adapter Pack that includes WCF-based adapters for LOB systems. Currently, this includes adapters for SAP and Oracle database, Oracle E-Business Suite, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PeopleSoft Enterprise and Siebel Systems.
Additional adapters (for Active Directory, for example) are available from third party Microsoft BizTalk core partners, including:
- /n software BizTalk Adatpers for AS2, AS1, AS3, SFTP, OFTP, NAESB, LDAP and XMPP
- RSSBus BizTalk Adapters for Salesforce, QuickBooks, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, OData and Google Apps
- Attunity BizTalk Adapters for Oracle, Sybase, Informix, VSAM and DB2
- ActiveADAPTER BizTalk Adapters for Active Directory
The main competitors are:
- Jones, Allen (19 December 2000). "Microsoft Releases BizTalk Server 2000 to Manufacturing". Windows IT Pro. Penton Media. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "BizTalk Server 2013 Evaluation Edition". Download Center. Microsoft. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Ganeline, Leonid (19 October 2010). "BizTalk: Timeline: Platform Support". Biztalkien. Self-published. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Microsoft BizTalk Server". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Foley, Mary Jo (23 March 2013). "BizTalk 2009 R2 gets a new name; still due in 2010". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Release Notes: BizTalk Server 2013 Beta". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Runtime architecture". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "BizTalk Adapters".
- "WCF Adapters". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "/n software AS2 BizTalk Adapter, /n software FTPS BizTalk Adapter, & /n software SFTP BizTalk Adapter". nsoftware.com. /n software. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "BizTalk Adapters". rssbus.com. RSSBus. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Adapters for BizTalk Server". attunity.com. Attunity. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "ActiveADAPTER BizTalk Adapters for Active Directory". activeadapter.com. activeadapter.com. Retrieved 6 August 2013.